I can't take the initiative.

95% of men can take initiative just fine, I should be able to ask a girl out, even for coffee as friends. But no, I find myself writing some sort of evolved version of those high school notes people used to pass to avoid the awkwardness of overt speech. There's a girl at my college, she likes all the same things I do. I want to be her friend; I don't know the expectations or assumptions girls make in this environment. Is it still either all or nothing? I believe she is mature enough to not assume anything, I just want to honestly vocalize my intentions, saying that I want to be friends, with no allusion to it evolving into anything beyond that. I never would want her to think I am only her friend because I expect something from her.

It shouldn't have to be clouded with any sort of relationship politics or games. I like her because she likes John William Waterhouse and John Woo movies. I want to be her friend because she is the most intelligent person I've met on campus. I want to know her because she is what I want to be. I don't know how to become that person that she can turn to, any time. I have a painfully underdeveloped mastery of subtlety. I always try too hard. I'd say I've got nothing to lose but I have so much to lose, a potentially marvelous friend.